Sunday, November 30, 2008

Milky the Cow *or* My Neglected Childhood

In the fading halcyon days of 1978, there was a wonderful new item on the pre-Christmas toy market that I absolutely had to have. Milky the Cow was a plastic cow that you could actually feed water to and subsequently milk (note: Milky did not produce actual milk but came with tablets that turned the water into some sort of whitish liquid that was allegedly non-toxic but probably caused cancer in laboratory mice).

You may have guessed how this story ends.. I didn't get Milky the Cow for Christmas. I don't remember any of this- obviously it was such a traumatic experience that I have repressed the painful memories- but I'm sure I was devastated on Christmas morning to find the living room devoid of the one thing my heart was fixed on. I probably cried for days.

Either that or I forgot about Milky the Cow before Christmas even arrived and any lingering vestiges of bovine longing were wiped out the moment my greedy little eyes fell on the pile of presents under the Christmas tree.

For years, every time I alluded to the fact of my parents' poor child-raising skills warping my young mind and ruining my future life, my mom would stage a mock breakdown and "confess" that she had actually bought me the Milky the Cow I so desperately pined for that Christmas, hidden it away.. and had then reverted to her original opinion that Milky the Cow was the stupidest toy ever invented.

She decided then and there that she was not going to spend money on a creepy toy that would probably poison her child. Having come to this conclusion, she marched right back to the store and returned MY Milky the Cow before I ever saw it! My mother would profusely mock-apologize while lamenting that I would never be emotionally healthy, all because of her tragic mistake in returning Milky the Cow. I did not appreciate the intense humor my parents seemed to find in this display.

In any case, Milky the Cow became a shorthand in our family for parental blame. Bad grades in school? It's probably because you never got Milky the Cow. Obviously if my parents loved me they would have given me one. In the brief time this stellar toy was on the market (I believe about 1 (one) Christmas season would do it) it earned a place in family lore forever.

Fortunately, Mom, I have found a way for you to make things right and redeem yourself as a mother. How often do you get that kind of chance for only $12.99? I know what I want this Christmas.

9 comments:

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so funny. I remember Milky the cow. It may have been the one toy, that I did not want to have.
I hope your Mom can come through and get it for you. Or at least pay for the therapy.
Suz

l i s a said...

Be careful what you wish for.

May I ask why your blog showed up Tuesday morning when it's dated Nov 30? Is this some sort of trickery?

Christy said...

YESSSS!!! Ha ha ha. Milky The Cow, by popular request!
A friend recently reminded me her favorite christmas toy (she is a child at 24!!) was the "oopsy daisy baby" ... it crawled, then would fall and cry, requiring attention and patting on the back.

My Buddy is still the best toy ever. Also available on ebay!! LOL.

jess said...

Gosh, Lisa, I don't know what you're talking about. Must be the California to Vancouver time difference. We ARE in different countries after all.

Jason, as himself said...

Well, I hope you get your cow. And what do you REALLY want this year?

Jocelyn said...

I LOVE this post--you kill me. I hadn't remembered that such a thing as Milky existed. Until this very minute.

I'm sure you have at least three more brain cells now, thanks to your mom keeping that toxicity out of your life.

Right?

Right?

Defiantmuse said...

my Milky The Cow experience involved a skateboard I so desperately pined for. I awoke Christmas morning and hightailed it downstairs. I saw it leaning against the fireplace - beautiful and black with a yellow stripe down the middle. I squealed and picked it up and turned to my parents. My father avoided eye contact and my mother said, "Sweetie, that's not for you. That's for Andrew (my cousin who was spending Christmas with us)". How is THAT for fucked up? I sat in the corner and pouted with my hardcover Gone With The Wind book while I watched him playing in the driveway w/ his skateboard. Arggh....

jess said...

I think that's the worst MtC story I've ever heard. Did they at least get you a skateboard for your birthday?

Defiantmuse said...

no. never. 18 years later and I still don't have one. Though it's okay now b/c when I tried to use my friend's in high school I nearly broke my leg.

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